The face of retail has changed, consumers want to experience, they wanted to learn, and above all, people want to belong.
My name is Nadia. I’m an event manager, small business owner and mum, I bring people together. It’s just what I do. I always have, from as far back as I can remember. When I opened my first business, I knew that I wanted to create more than just a retail space, so when I sat down to write my business plan, I knew that creating experiences for my community was essential.
Here is my 5 step plan to building a community that will support your business:
1. Be generous with your time and offerings.
Your suppliers want to support small business. If you are hosting an event, ask your suppliers for a door prize. Your guests will love it, plus it makes for great social media content and creates a feeling of FOMO for those that didn’t attend.
2. Support the people that support you.
Put together a bag of promotional items for each guest to take home at the end of your event. This way, you can promote the organisations that have supported you with your event. Especially if they are happy to advertise on your behalf, through having your event poster in their store window or by promoting your event via their social media platforms. It’s all about building community, not just with your customers, but with businesses around you.
3. Find a local Not For Profit that aligns with your businesses values and offer to become a fundraiser for them.
Often, Not-for-profit organisations love an opportunity to provide a platform to discuss their cause. This also gives your event credibility with an interesting guest speaker. By charging a nominal fee, you’ll cover the cost of the event, and it will ensure the people who have RSVP’d will turn-up and will also provide much needed funds for your chosen charity through donations. Win-Win.
4. Promote your event to your database of customers.
Your customers already love you, so give them a reason to chose your business over any potential competitors. Thank them for their loyalty through an incentivised offer or discount. An example of this could be to offer to pay for their admission into your event if they bring 2 full-paying friends.
5. Grow your network.
A popular way of doing this is by offering a competition/raffle on the night. As a result of entering they agree to receive invitations to further events and receive email newsletters from you.
By Nadia Conn – Retail Event Specialist, TalkShop.
TalkShop offer bespoke retail consulting to small businesses and independent retailers. Learn more about how you can create positive in-store experiences for your customers from Co-founder of TalkShop Sarah Quinn at her Masterclass Series at Sydney Gift Fair. You can register for this free session here.
Sydney Gift Fair 2020
Where: Sydney Showgrounds, Sydney Olympic Park
When: Friday 21st February – Monday 24th February 2020
Hours: 9am – 6pm (Friday – Sunday) & 9am – 5pm (Monday)